Along with driver error, mechanical failures are a leading cause of big truck accidents in Florida. At Rivas Law Group, we’ve represented many clients who have been injured in accidents with 18 wheelers and other big trucks caused by a lack of proper vehicle maintenance and repair.
Trucking companies are required by law to keep their rigs in safe operating condition. Failure to properly maintain these vehicles puts drivers, cargos and other vehicles on the road at risk.
However, a study conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) revealed that more than half of the big trucks involved in accidents had at least one mechanical failure at the time of the crash; many of these trucks were in such poor operating condition that they shouldn’t have even been on the road in the first place.
Not only are 18 wheelers bigger and more complicated to operate than passenger vehicles, they also see a lot more wear and tear due to the longer hours they put on the road. Poor weather, road conditions and defective parts can also lead to mechanical failures for 18 wheelers, which is why it’s so important for drivers to regularly inspect their rigs before traveling out on the roads.
18 Wheeler Mechanical Failures That Can Lead To Accidents
Here are some of the most common mechanical failures in big trucks that can result in an accident.
A large percentage of truck accidents involve brake failure. While a lot of these accidents were due to poor maintenance, some resulted from defective parts. Because of their large size and mass, brakes are one of the most critical safety features on an 18 wheeler or other big truck. When they don’t work properly, the results can be disastrous.
Lighting System Failures
Working headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals on both the truck and the trailer are essential to communicating with other drivers on the road and preventing accidents. Truckers can be issued citations when their lighting systems are not up to standard.
Blow Outs and Other Tire Failures
Due to their size, weight and the miles driven, an 18 wheeler’s tires tend to wear out more quickly than regular automobile tires. Accidents can occur if a tire suddenly blows out. Truck drivers must constantly inspect their tires for excessive wear and damage. When tires begin to go bald and lose their tread, or when the tire pressure gets too low, accidents can happen.
If an 18 wheeler’s engine doesn’t receive regular maintenance checks, trouble can result. Engine breakdowns can put the truck driver and others on the road at risk. Truck drivers should pull off to the side of the road when they experience engine problems, but sometimes this isn’t always possible. When their trucks are broken down and awaiting repair or towing, drivers should place flares or warning markers behind the truck to warn drivers of their stalled condition.
Get Help from a Winter Haven Truck Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a big truck accident in Florida that was caused by mechanical failure due to poor maintenance or a defective part, you may be able to recover compensation for the damages resulting from your accident, including medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Don’t agree to a settlement with the insurance company until you’ve spoken with leading Winter Haven truck accident injury attorney Tania Rivas. Insurance companies rarely offer an amount that will fully compensate a victim for their damages. Tania will fight to ensure you get the total compensation you deserve — not just the losses you have experienced as a result of your accident, but also any expenses you may face in the future.
Contact Tania Rivas and Rivas Law Group online or by phone at (877) 299-5539 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We’ll discuss your accident, answer any questions you may have, and provide professional legal advice on your options for moving forward. Rivas Law Group handles most truck accident injury cases on a contingency basis, which means there are no fees or costs owed until we win their case.